French-Algerian screen star Kad Merad (b. 1964), also a prolific comedian, screenwriter and director, and to international audiences best remembered for his role in the French comedy “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis” (2008, a.k.a. “Welcome to the Sticks”)—to this day still the highest-grossing French film of all time in France—has a new film out.
In “Un triomphe” (a.k.a. “The Big Hit”), he gives a powerhouse performance as Étienne, an actor who is out of a job, but gets the opportunity to run a theater workshop in prison, where he brings together an unlikely troupe of prisoners to stage Samuel Beckett’s famous play “Waiting for Godot.”
Emmanuel Courcol, a longtime stage actor, co-wrote and directed this delightful and upbeat comedy that is released in France (600 screens) and other territories on September 1.
Unlike all the other interviews posted on this website, this interview with Kad Merad is not mine; I didn’t conduct it, nor did I meet him or did I talk to him. In this interview from the press kit of “Un triomphe,” he talks about his character and his craft as an actor. Since his performance as Étienne is simply fabulous, I thought this interview couldn’t be overlooked or ignored.
What inspired you to do this project?
I had read the screenplay. There are good screenwriters in France, but a film this well-written, with an important role that I can see myself playing, well, there aren’t that many. The ending touched me deeply. I’m not sure it’s a real happy ending, but it’s a good one. When I met Emmanuel Courcol, there wasn’t a start date yet, and I was involved in a lot of other projects, so I was afraid he wouldn’t wait for me. But in the end, things fell into place. I also liked the fact that a true story inspired it. That brings another dimension to the film. It’s not only a great story, it’s something that really happened. I found it touching to see the photos of the real protagonists in the end credits. Moreover, I met Jan Jönson, the Swedish director that my character of Étienne is based on, when he visited the set.
I liked the energy in this project and also the idea of the troupe. I wanted to be that little guy every actor can recognize himself in, not a failure but someone a little less prominent who has to work hard to make a living. The character of Étienne agrees to work in prison—he’s more or less forced to. Many actors are in that situation, living on temporary work.
Do you know actors like him?
I don’t like to find out too much about the characters I play. Regarding the TV series “Baron noir” [2016-2020] that I did, people often ask me, ‘Which politician inspired you?’ No one in particular and all of them in general. It’s not a biopic, it’s an original creation. With Étienne, I invented a character who is going to teach drama class in prison and who is going to tell inmates how to put on a play. I came up with my own idea, based on all the actors I’ve met in my life, in theater classes and casting sessions. I, too, have done acting workshops in companies, like sketches at the post office dressed as a postman. I know what it’s like to change clothes in the restroom, or to do your job while telling yourself that it’s going to be a long time before you will make it. I know actors like that who struggle. I know what Étienne feels like when he puts on his old parka, which is a bit heavy, almost like armor, and makes these long journeys by train, bus, or metro. He’s a lonely man. Yet, all of a sudden, there he is with a gang of his own. And he is in charge.
We can sense his inner rage and great stubbornness.
He doesn’t give in, that’s for sure. In the past, he must have annoyed a lot of theater people, maybe because he overestimates himself a little, but because of his pugnacity and his personality, he achieves something. He’s a pretty lonely guy, a man wounded by life; he feels he has been betrayed by his friends and family. Basically—and this is the least glorious aspect of this character—he does all this for himself. There is no better outcome for him than ending up on the stage of the Théâtre de l’Odéon.
Emmanuel Courcol kept telling me, ‘Let’s not forget that he’s the one who makes it happen.’ Everything he couldn’t do before, he does now because of his experience. He is very happy and motivated, and he fights for the inmates. He changes the rules; he takes the inmates out of their cells, and taking hardened convicts out of prison is something pretty incredible. But he has already fought these battles in the world of theater, and he often lost them. But now, he works with people who are not theater people, who are not used to this enthusiasm. The passion for theater needs to be passed on, and some people are more gifted than others to do that, who can explain it better than they can do it themselves. But Étienne is also a good actor.
On a practical level, how did you approach filming, particularly in prison?
Before filming started, we visited the Centre Pénitentaire de Meaux together. Just like my character, I had never set foot in jail before—although, deep down, Étienne is a prisoner of his personality. When we were there, we saw the long wire mesh corridors, we heard all the noises, we met prisoners, and all that put us in the right mood. We spent ten days filming there, and that inevitably bonded us together. We met outside every morning and had to follow a rather long protocol for entering; no mobile phones, we had to wear a badge, the gates opened and closed as we passed. That was agonizing and disturbing. When we got out, we started living again.
All the rehearsals for “Waiting for Godot” were shot in a studio. The scenes we shot in prison were used to go from one shot to another, or movements inside the prison, etc. I didn’t know the young actors, the ‘Godots’ as I call them, but they were great. We told ourselves that the multi-purpose room was like a bubble inside the prison. It was really an ensemble effort, with no hierarchy; from time to time, I did get some of them back on track when, after an improvisation, things got a bit out of hand.
How does Étienne work with the prisoners?
He takes it very seriously. He treats the prisoners the same way he would treat real actors. Étienne is perhaps the only person who dares to confront Kamel [played by Sofian Khammes], the prison kingpin. Everyone fears Kamel, but he doesn’t. He has no problem with that; he’s there to do theater, no matter what. With Jordan [played by Pierre Lotin], a virtual father-son relationship falls into place; he could be Étienne’s son, a son who doesn’t want to be an actor, and whom his father keeps telling, ‘You’re a good actor, you just have to take the plunge.’ That said, it varies according to the characters. Everyone contributes in his own way to the creation of Beckett’s play.
Étienne tells his apprentice actors, ‘The truth is in your lives.’ Do you believe that?
It is the truth of their lives. For me, with my experience in comedy, that line is perhaps a little too much ‘actor’s studio.’ I am not inspired by my own life. If someone asks me to be moved, I think about the situation or the emotion, and I try to be as authentic as possible. When Étienne talks to them about being false, it’s an idea I can share, even if I’m not sure I can explain it better than he can. There is no such thing as being false; the important thing is to be true. But being true is very difficult; you start by getting it right. When I was in a theater class, I remember auditioning for Robert Hossein for one of his great shows of the time. I had managed to obtain an audition in his presence. Hossein looked at me and said, ‘That’s good, you’ve got it right.’ He didn’t hire me, but I told myself, ‘Right, that’s a good start. Now I need to be true.’
Do you think Emmanuel Courcol has put his memories of his time as an actor in Étienne?
I don’t know. I found out pretty late that he had been an actor, and that he had done a lot of stage work. The good thing was that, as soon as we approached the techniques of acting, which could be used in Étienne’s classes, he was very precise and knew exactly how to do it. It was like making a film about classical music, directed by a musician. Emmanuel never acted in our presence, he simply came out with brief instructions that the actors could understand. For example, there’s the scene when Étienne talks about the importance of the diaphragm in breathing. I was never really taught that technique. When I teach the ‘Godots’ to breathe, it was Étienne who showed me how to do it.
Can you tell something about the final monologue?
When I first read it, I even thought of the end of “The Great Escape” . When you see the escapees, you know that some of them will be captured. And while we see them breathing outside, Étienne improvises his monologue. As if he were drawing on their breath. We filmed this scene over a three-day period, from various angles. It was harder than I thought it would be. Emmanuel was very discreet; the theater really is his playground. In the beginning, I was a bit too much the actor, approaching the text in a very theatrical way. At the same time, it should be much more intimate. I talked a lot about it with Emmanuel. Étienne doesn’t address the audience; it’s more as if he were telling this story to someone who is standing right in front of him. And that makes the scene more moving, I think. Étienne improvises, but, little by little, he realizes that it’s great to be on stage at the Théâtre de l’Odéon. He sees that the lights are dimming and understands that people are listening to him, so he goes all the way by finishing his story with a few lines from Beckett. That’s it, he will have performed a bit of Beckett at the Odéon. Will he make a show of it? Not really. But I think he’ll restage “Waiting for Godot” to perform it again alongside his friend Stéphane.
“Un triomphe” (2021, trailer)
LA GRANDE VIE!, a.k.a. THE HIGH LIFE (2001) DIR – PROD Philippe Dajoux SCR Philippe Dajoux, Gérard Dubouche CAM Serge Dell’Amico CAST Christian Charmetant, Patrick Bosso, Sacha Bourdo, Coralie Amedeo, Yannick Assandry, Yannick Cucco, Kad Merad (Man on a Motocycle), Philippe Dajoux
LE PHARMACIEN DE GARDE, a.k.a. THE PHARMACIST (2001) DIR – SCR Jean Veber PROD Nicolas Vannier CAM Laurent Fleutot ED Georges Klotz MUS Marci Prince CAST Vincent Perez, Guillaume Depardieu, Clara Bellar, Laurent Gamelon, Pascal Légitimus, Alain MacMoy, Alice Taglioni, Kad Merad (Pharmacist), Emmanuel Courcol
LA BEUZE, a.k.a. THE DOPE (2003) DIR François Desagnat, Thomas Sorriaux PROD Abel Nahmias SCR François Desagnat, Thomas Sorriaux, Juliette Arnaud, Guy Laurent, Philippe de Chauveron, Tefa CAM Vincent Mathias ED Marco Cavé MUS Alexandre Azaria CAST Michaël Youn, Vincent Desagnat, Zoé Félix, Alex Descas, Lionel Abelanski, Jean-François Gallotte, Jorge Cabezas, Omar Sy, Kad Merad (Manager of Pacific Recordings)
MAIS QUI A TUÉ PAMELA ROSE?, a.k.a. BULLIT & RIPER (2003) DIR Éric Lartigau PROD Jean-Baptiste Dupont, Cyril Colbeau-Justin SCR Kad Merad [Kad], Olivier Baroux, Julien Rappeneau CAM Régis Blondeau ED Stéphane Mazalaigue MUS Erwann Kermorvant CAST Kad Merad (Richard Bullit), Olivier Baroux, Gérard Darmon, Jean-Paul Rouve, Bénédicte Loyen, Lionel Abelanski, François Cluzet, Marina Foïs
RIEN QUE DU BONHEUR, a.k.a. DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY (2003) DIR – SCR Denis Parent PROD Leonardo De La Fuente CAM Wilfrid Sempé ED Vincent Tabaillon MUS Reinhardt Wagner CAST Alexandra Lamy, Michel Scotto Di Carlo, Barbara Schulz, Jean-Baptiste Iera, Geneviève Page, Kad Merad (Pierre 2)
LES CLEFS DE BAGNOLE, a.k.a. THE CAR KEYS (2003) DIR – PROD – SCR Laurent Baffe CAM Philippe Vene ED Anne Lafarge MUS Ramon Pipin CAST Laurent Baffe, Daniel Russo, Pascal Sellem, Karine Lyachenko, Dani, Gérard Depardieu, Michel Galabru, Claude Berri, Alain Sarde, Yvan Attal, Daniel Auteuil, Guy Bedos, Richard Berry, Jean-Claude Brialy, Jean Dujardin, Kad Merad (Comedian), Vincent Lindon, Thierry Lhermitte, Enrico Macias, Eddy Mitchell, Pierre Richard, Marina Foïs, Jean Rochefort, Sophie Marceau
LES CHORISTES, a.k.a. THE CHORUS (2004) DIR Christophe Barratier PROD Jacques Perrin, Arthur Cohn, Nicolas Mauvernay SCR Christophe Barratier, Philippe Lopes-Curval (screen story by Christophe Barratier; story “La cage aux rossignols”  by René Wheeler, Georges Chaperot; screenplay LA CAGE AUX ROSSIGNOLS  by René Wheeler, Noël-Noël) CAM Jean-Jacques Bouhon, Carlo Varini, Dominique Gentil ED Yves Deschamps MUS Bruno Coulias CAST Gérard Jugnot, François Berléand, Kad Merad (Chabert), Jean-Paul Bonnaire, Marie Bunel, Jean-Baptiste Maunier, Maxence Perrin, Jacques Perrin
LES DALTON, a.k.a. THE DALTONS and LUCKY LUKE AND THE DALTONS (2004) DIR Philippe Haïm PROD Saïd Ben Saïd, Yves Marmion SCR Michel Hazanavicius, Ramzy Bedia, Eric Judor CAM David Carretero ED Richard Marizy MUS Alexandre Azaria CAST Eric Judor, Ramzy Bedia, Saïd Errari, Romain Berger, Til Schweiger, Javivi, Marthe Villalonga, Jean Benguigui, Jean Dujardin, Elie Semoun, Kad Merad (Mexican)
IZNOGOUD, a.k.a. THE IZNOGOUD (2005) DIR Patrick Braoudé PROD Farid Lahouassa, Aïssa Djarbi SCR Patrick Braoudé (comic books by René Goscinny, Jean Tabary) CAM Jérôme Robert ED Yves Deschamps, Charlotte Teillard D’Eyry MUS Jacques Davidovici CAST Michaël Youn, Arno Chevrier, Jacques Villeret, Bernard Farcy, Maurice Lamy, Kad Merad (Ouzmoutousouloubouloubombê)
UN TICKET POUR L’ESPACE, a.k.a. A TICKET TO SPACE (2006) DIR Éric Lartigau PROD Jean-Baptiste Dupont, Cyril Colbeau-Justin SCR Kad [Kad Merad], Olivier [Olivier Baroux], Julien Rappeneau CAM Régis Blondeau ED Reynald Bertrand MUS Erwann Kermorvant CAST Kad [Kad Merad] (Cardoux), Olivier [Olivier Baroux], Marina Foïs, Guillaume Canet, André Dussollier, Pierre François Martin-Laval, Frédéric Proust, Thierry Frémont, Anne Marivin
ESSAYE-MOI, a.k.a. TRY ME (2006) DIR Pierre-François Martin-Laval PROD Michèle Pétin, Laurent Pétin SCR Pierre François Martin-Laval, Isabelle Nanty, Frédéric Proust, Jean-Paul Bathany CAM Régis Blondeau ED Jenny Frenck MUS Pierre van Dormael CAST Pierre François Martin-Laval, Julie Depardieu, Pierre Richard, Kad Merad (Vincent), Isabelle Nanty, Wladimir Yorbanoff, Marina Foïs
LES OISEAUX DU CIEL, a.k.a. APRÈS L’OCÉAN and BEYOND THE SEA (2006) DIR – SCR Éliane de Latour PROD Christopher Simon, Cat Villers, Pascal Judelewicz CAM Renaud Chassaing ED Nelly Quettier MUS Alexis Pecharman CAST Fraser James, Djédjé Apali, Marie-Josée Croze, Sara Martins, Kad Merad (Tango’s Uncle), Malik Zidi, Lucien Jean-Baptiste, Jimmy Danger, Angeline Nadlé
LES IRRÉDUCTIBLES (2006) DIR Renaud Bertrand PROD Géraldine Ioos-Combelles, Laurent Thiry SCR Géraldine Ioos-Combelles, Marc Herpoux, Sébastien Thibaudeau CAM Marc Koninckx ED Laurence Bawedin CAST Jacques Gamblin, Kad Merad (Gérard Mathieu), Anne Brochet, Rufus, Hélène Vincent, Valérie Kaprisky, Edouard Collin
JE VAIS BIEN, NE T’EN FAIS PAS, a.k.a. DON’T WORRY, I’M FINE (2006) DIR Philippe Lioret PROD Christophe Rossignon SCR Philippe Lioret, Olivier Adam CAM Sascha Wernik ED Judith Rivière Kawa, Andrea Sedlácková MUS Nicola Piovani CAST Mélanie Laurent, Kad Merad (Paul Tellier), Julien Boisselier, Isabelle Renauld, Aïssa Maïga, Simon Buret, Christophe Rossignon, Emmanuel Courcol
J’INVENTE RIEN (2006) DIR – SCR Michel Leclerc PROD Agnès Vallée, Emmanuel Barraux CAM Pascal Lagriffoul ED Michel Klochendler, Axelle Malavieille MUS Jérôme Bensoussan CAST Elsa Zylberstein, Kad Merad (Paul Thalman), Claude Brasseur, Patrick Chesnais, Guillaume Toucas, Sara Martins, Liliane Rovère
PUR WEEK-END (2007) DIR Olivier Doran PROD Alain Attal SCR Olivier Doran, Philippe Lefebvre (idea from Philippe Lefebvre, Alain Attal) CAM Christophe Offenstein ED Emmanuelle Baude CAST Kad Merad (Frédéric ‘Fred’ Alvaro), Bruno Solo, Valérie Benguigui, Philippe Lefebvre, Jean-Noël Brouté, Anne Marivin, Arnaud Henriet, François Berléand
LA TÊTE DE MAMAN, a.k.a. IN MOM’S HEAD (2007) DIR Carine Tardieu PROD Christophe Rossignon SCR Carine Tardieu, Michel Leclerc CAM Aurélien Devaux ED Dorian Rigal-Ansous MUS Éric Neveux CAST Karin Viard, Chloé Coulloud, Kad Merad (Jacques Charlot), Pascal Elbé, Jane Birkin, Sarah Cohen-Hadria, Arthur Ligerot
JE CROIS QUE JE L’AIME, a.k.a. COULD THIS BE LOVE? (2007) DIR Pierre Jolivet PROD Pierre Kubel, Frédéric Bourboulon, Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar SCR Pierre Jolivet, Simon Michaël CAM Pascal Ridao ED Yves Deschamps CAST Vincent Lindon, Sandrine Bonnaire, François Berléand, Liane Foly, Kad Merad (Rachid), Hélène de Saint-Pierre
3 AMIS, a.k.a. 3 FRIENDS (2007) DIR Michel Boujenah SCR Michel Boujenah, Pascal Elbé CAM Philippe Pavans de Ceccaty ED Jennifer Augé CAST Mathilde Seigner, Pascal Elbé, Kad Merad (Baptiste ‘Titi’ Capla), Yves Rénier, Philippe Noiret, Daniel Duval, Annelise Hesme, Constance Dollé
CE SOIR, JE DORS CHEZ TOI, a.k.a. TONIGHT I’LL SLEEP AT YOURS (2007) DIR Olivier Baroux PROD Jean-Baptiste Dupont, Cyril Colbeau-Justin SCR Olivier Baroux (adaptation by Jean-Paul Bathany, Michel Delgado) CAM Arnaud Stefani ED Richard Marizy MUS Martin Rappeneau CAST Jean-Paul Rouve, Mélanie Doutey, Kad Merad (Jacques), Rhiles Djarouane, Hélène Patarot, Philippe Lefebvre
BIENVENUE CHEZ LES CH’TIS, a.k.a. WELCOME TO THE STICKS (2008) DIR Dany Boon PROD Claude Berri, Jérôme Seydoux SCR Dany Boon, Alexandra Charlot, Franck Magnier CAM Pierre Aïm ED Julie Delord, Luc Barnier MUS Philippe Rombi CAST Kad Merad (Philippe Abrams), Dany Boon, Zoé Félix, Lorenzo Ausilia-Foret, Anne Marivin, Philippe Duquesne, Michel Galabru
MODERN LOVE (2009) DIR – SCR Stéphane Kazandjian PROD Jacques Perrin, Antoine Rein, Caroline Adrian CAM Régis Blondeau ED Philippe Bourgueil CAST Alexandra Lamy, Stéphane Rousseau, Bérénice Bejo, Pierre François Martin-Laval, Clotilde Courau, Stéphane Debac, Kad Merad (Olivier), Mélanie Bernier
MES STARS ET MOI, a.k.a. MY STARS (2008) DIR – SCR Laetitia Colombani PROD Christophe Rossignon CAM Jean-Marie Dreujou ED Véronique Parnet MUS Frédéric Talgorn CAST Kad Merad (Robert Pelage), Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Béart, Mélanie Bernier, Maria de Medeiros, Rufus, Antoine Duléry, Juliette Lamboley
FAUBOURG 36, a.k.a. PARIS 36 (2008) DIR Christophe Barratier PROD Jacques Perrin, Nicolas Mauvernay SCR Christophe Barratier (adaptation by Christophe Barratier, Julien Rappeneau; original idea from Jean-Michel Derenne, Frank Thomas, Reinhardt Wagner) CAM Tom Stern ED Yves Deschamps MUS Reinhardt Wagner CAST Gérard Jugnot, Clovis Cornillac, Kad Merad (Jacky), Nora Arnezeder, Pierre Richard, Benrard-Pierre Donnadieu, Maxence Perrin
SAFARI (2009) DIR Olivier Baroux PROD Richard Grandpierre SCR Olivier Baroux, Richard Grandpierre, Pascal Plisson, Jean-Paul Bathany (original idea from Richard Grandpierre, Pascal Plisson) CAM Arnaud Stefani ED Florent Vassault, Richard Marizy MUS Martin Rappeneau CAST Kad Merad (Richard Dacier), Lionel Abelanski, Valérie Benguigui, Frédérique Bel, Guy Lecluyse, David Saracino, Nicolad Marlé, Omar Sy
LE PETIT NICOLAS, a.k.a. LITTLE NICOLAS and LITTLE NICHOLAS (2009) DIR Laurent Tirard PROD Marc Missonnier, Olivier Delbosc SCR Laurent Tirard, Grégoire Vigneron (characters created by René Goscinny, Sempé [Jean-Jacqus Sempé]) CAM Denis Rouden ED Valérie Deseine MUS Klaus Badelt CAST Maxime Godard, Vincent Claude, Charles Vaillant, Victor Carles, Benjamin Averty, Germain Petit Damico, Damien Ferdel, Valérie Lemercier, Kad Merad (Nicolas’ Father), Sandrine Kiderlain, Michel Duchaussoy, Michel Galabru, Anémone, François Damiens, Gérard Jugnot
RTT (2009) DIR Frédéric Berthe PROD Dominique Farruagia, Cyril Batteux, Jean-Baptiste Dupont SCR Matthieu Delaporte, Julien Rappeneau, Alexandre de La Patellière CAM Giovanni Fiore Coltellacci ED Damien Codaccioni CAST Kad Merad (Arthur Lepage), Mélanie Doutey, Manu Payet, Francis Renaud, Pierre Laplace, Daniel Duval, Nathalie Levy-Lang
PROTÉGER & SERVIR (2010) DIR Eric Lavaine PROD Vincent Roget, François Cornuau, Genevieve Lemal, Alexandre Lippens SCR Eric Lavaine, Héctor Cabello Reyes (television series LE 17 by Eric Lavine, Bénabar, Jean-Paul Bathany, Alexandre Pesle, Frédéric Proust) CAM Stéphane Cami ED Vincent Zuffranieri CAST Kad Merad (Michel Boudriau), Carole Bouquet, Clovis Cornillac, François Damiens, Elsa Kikoïne, Jean-Luc Couchard, Héctor Cabello Reyes
L’IMMORTEL, a.k.a. 22 BULLETS and THE IMMORTAL (2010) DIR Richard Berry PROD Pierre-Ange Le Pogam SCR Richard Berry, Alexandre de La Patellière, Matthieu Delaporte (adaptation by Richard Berry, Alexandre de La Patellière, Matthieu Delaporte; novel by Franz-Olivier Giesbert) CAM Thomas Hardmeier ED Camille Delamarre MUS Klaus Badelt CAST Jean Reno, Kad Merad (Tony Zacchia), Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Marina Foïs, JoeyStarr, Richard Berry, Venantino Venantini, Claude Gensac
L’ITALIEN, a.k.a. THE ITALIAN (2010) DIR Olivier Baroux PROD Richard Grandpierre SCR Éric Besnard, Nicolas Boukhrief (adaptation by Olivier Baroux, Jean-Paul Bathany, Stéphane Ben Lahcene) CAM Arnaud Stefani ED Richard Maziry MUS Martin Rappeneau CAST Kad Merad (Mourad Ben Saoud, a.k.a. Dino Fabrizzi), Valérie Benguigui, Roland Giraud, Philippe Lefebvre, Guillaume Gallienne, Sid Ahmed Agoumi
MONSIEUR PAPA (2011) DIR Kad Merad PROD Romain Le Grand, Judith Aubry SCR Luc Chaumar, Anne Valton CAM Régis Blondeau ED Christophe Pinel MUS Daran CAST Michèle Laroque, Kad Merad (Robert Pique), Gaspard Meier-Chaurand, Vincent Perez, Judith El Zein, Lucie Laurier, Christophe Kourotchkine, Myriam Boyer
LA FILLE DU PUISATIER, a.k.a. THE WELL DIGGER’S DAUGHTER (2011) DIR Daniel Auteuil PROD Alain Sarde SCR Marcel Pagnol (adaptation by Daniel Auteuil) CAM Jean-François Robin ED Joëlle Hache MUS Alexandre Desplat CAST Daniel Auteuil, Kad Merad (Félipe Rambert), Sabine Azema, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey
LES TUCHE, a.k.a. THE TUCHE FAMILY (2011) DIR Olivier Baroux PROD Richard Grandpierre SCR Philippe Mechelen (adaptation by Olivier Baroux, Philippe Mechelen, Chantal Lauby) CAM Arnaud Stefani MUS Martin Rappeneau CAST Jean-Paul Rouve, Isabelle Nanty, Claire Nadeau, Théo Fernandez, Sarah Stern, Pierre Lottin, Fadila Belkebla, Omar Sy, Kad Merad (Fishmonger)
LA NOUVELLE GUERRE DES BOUTONS, a.k.a. WAR OF THE BUTTONS (2011) DIR Christophe Barratier PROD Thomas Langmann SCR Thomas Langmann, Christophe Barratier, Stéphane Keller (adaptation by Christophe Barratier, Stéphane Keller, Philippe Lopes-Churval; novel “La guerre des boutons”  by Louis Pergaud) CAM Jean Poisson ED Yves Deschamps, Anne-Sophie Bion MUS Philippe Rombi CAST Laetitia Casta, Guillaume Canet, Kad Merad (Lebrac’s Father), Gérard Jugnot, Jean Texier, Ilona Bachelier, Clément Godefroy
JC COMME JÉSUS CHRIST, a.k.a. PLAY IT LIKE GODARD (2011) DIR – SCR Jonathan Zaccaï PROD Jonathan Zaccaï, Vanessa Zambernardi, Serge de Poucques, Élodie Hesme, Sylvain Goldberg CAM Bruno Devrage ED Vanessa Zambernardi MUS David Gategno CAST Vincent Lacoste, Elsa Zylberstein, Aure Atika, Ella Waldmann, Gilles Lellouche, Kad Merad (Kad Merad), Jonathan Zaccaï
SUPERSTAR (2012) DIR Xavier Giannoli PROD Edouard Well SCR Xavier Giannoli (novel “L’idole”  by Serge Joncour) CAM Christophe Beaucarne ED Célia Lafitedupont MUS Sinclair [Mathieu Blanc-Francard] CAST Kad Merad (Martin Kazinski), Cécile de France, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Cédric Ben Abdallah, Alberto Sorbelli, Frédéric Boismoreau
MAIS QUI A RE-TUÉ PAMELA ROSE?, a.k.a. F.B.I. FROG BUTTHEAD INVESTIGATORS (2012) DIR Kad Merad, Olivier Baroux PROD Jean-Baptiste Dupont, Cyril Colbeau-Justin SCR Kad Merad, Olivier Baroux, Julien Rappeneau CAM Régis Blondeau ED Elodie Codaccioni MUS Hervé Rakotofiringa CAST Kad Merad (Richard Bullit/Holk Logan), Olivier Baroux, Omar Sy, Laurent Lafitte, Audrey Fleurot, Guy Lecluyse, Philippe Lefebvre, Laurence Arné
DES GENS QUI S’EMBRASSENT, a.k.a. IT HAPPENED IN SAINT-TROPEZ (2013) DIR Danièle Thompson PROD Florian Genetet-Morel, Romain Le Grand SCR Danièle Thompson, Christopher Thompson CAM Jean-Marc Fabre ED Sylvie Landra MUS Stephen Warbeck CAST Kad Merad (Roni Melkowich), Monica Bellucci, Éric Elmosnino, Valérie Bonneton, Max Boublil, Lou de Laâge, Clara Ponsot, Ivry Gitlis, Sylvie Vartan, Karin Viard
LE GRAND MÉCHANT LOUP (2013) DIR Nicolas & Bruno [Nicolas Charlet, Bruno Lavaine] PROD Nicolas Altmayer, Eric Altmayer SCR Nicolas Charlet, Bruno Lavaine (screenplay LES 3 P’TITS COCHONS  by Claude Lalonde, Pierre Lamothe, Patrick Huard) CAM Laurent Dailland ED Reynald Bertrand MUS Eric Neveux CAST Benoît Poelvoorde, Kad Merad (Louis Delcroix), Fred Testot, Valérie Donzelli, Charlotte Le Bon, Zabou Breitman, Christiana Réall, Léa Drucker, Linh Dan Pham, Marie-Christine Barrault
SUPERCONDRIAQUE, a.k.a. SUPERCHONDRIAC (2014) DIR – SCR Dany Boon (also original idea) PROD Jérôme Seydoux, Eric Hubert CAM Romain Winding ED Monica Coleman MUS Klaus Badelt CAST Kad Merad (Dr. Dimitri Zvenka), Dany Boon, Alice Pol, Jean-Yves Berteloot, Judith El Zein, Valérie Bonneton, Bruno Lochet, Jérôme Commandeur, Marthe Villalonga, Stéphane De Groodt
LES VACANCES DU PETIT NICOLAS, a.k.a. NICOLAS ON HOLIDAY and NICHOLAS ON HOLIDAY (2014) DIR Laurent Tirard PROD Marc Missonnier, Olivier Delbosc SCR Laurent Tirard, Grégoire Vigneron (adaptation by Laurent Tirard, Grégoire Vigneron; characters created by René Goscinny, Sempé [Jean-Jacques Sempé]) CAM Denis Rouden ED Valérie Deseine MUS Eric Neveux CAST Valérie Lemercier, Kad Merad (Nicolas’ Father), Dominique Lavanant, Bouli Lanners, François-Xavier Demaison, Luca Zingaretti, Judith Henry
ON A MARCHÉ SUR BANGKOK (2014) DIR – SCR Olivier Baroux PROD Richard Grandpierre CAM Régis Blondeau ED Christophe Pinel MUS Martin Rappeneau CAST Kad Merad (Serge Renart), Alice Taglioni, Peter Coyote, Chawanrut Janjittranon, Claude Perron, Etienne Chicot, Michel Aumont
DISPARUE EN HIVER (2014) DIR Christophe Lamotte PROD Nicolas Steil, Stéphane Marsil SCR Christophe Lamotte, Pierre Chosson (adaptation by Christophe Lamotte, Pierre Chosson) CAM Philippe Guilbert MUS André Dziezuk CAST Kad Merad (Daniel Vernant), Géraldine Pailhas, Lola Créton, Pierre Perrier, Francis Renaud, Jérôme Varanfrian
BIS (2015) DIR – PROD Dominique Farrugia SCR Dominique Farrugia, Nans Delgado, Frédéric Hazan (original idea from Dominique Farrugia, Matthieu Delaporte, Alexandre de La Patellière, Julien Rappeneau) CAM Rémy Chevrin ED Frédérique Olszak MUS Julien Jaouen CAST Kad Merad (Patrice Coquelle), Franck Dubosc, Alexandra Lamy, Gerard Darmon, Julien Boisselier, Anne Girouard, Eléonore Bernheim, Antonin Chalon
ON VOULAIT TOUT CASSER, a.k.a. WE WERE YOUNG (2015) DIR Philippe Guillard PROD Jean-Baptiste Dupont, Cyril Colbeau-Justin, Sidonie Dumas SCR Philippe Guillard (also adaptation) CAM Ludovic Colbeau-Justin MUS Roméo Guillard, Maxime Lebidois CAST Kad Merad (Kiki), Charles Berling, Benoît Magimel, Vincent Moscato, Jean-François Cayrey, Anne Charier, Elsa Mollien
MARSEILLE (2016) DIR Kad Merad PROD Jean-Baptiste Dupont, Cyril Colbeau-Justin, Richard Grandpierre SCR Kad Merad, Patrick Bosso, Judith El Zein (adaptation by Kad Merad, Patrick Bosso, Judith El Zein) CAM Gordon Spooner ED Marie Silvi MUS Hervé Rakotofiringa CAST Kad Merad (Paolo), Patrick Bosso, Venantino Venantini, Judith El Zein, Anne Charrier, Louis-Do de Lencquesaign, Julien Boisselier, Philippe Lefebvre, Mathieu Madénian, Reda Merad, Mina Merad
LA FOLLE HISTOIRE DE MAX ET LÉON, a.k.a. THE COMIC ADVENTURES OF MAX AND LEON (2016) DIR Jonathan Barré PROD Alain Goldman SCR Jonathan Barré, David Marsais, Grégoire Ludig CAM Sascha Wernik ED Delphine Guilbaud MUS Charles Luding CAST David Marsais, Grégoire Ludig, Alice Vial, Saskia de Melo Dillais, Dominique Pinon, Bernard Farcy, Christophe Lambert, Kad Merad (Actor on British Television)
ALIBI.COM (2017) DIR Philippe Lachau PROD Alexandra Fechner SCR Philippe Lachau, Pierre Dudan, Julien Arruti CAM Dominique Colin ED Olivier Michaut-Alchourroun MUS Maxime Desprez, Michaël Tordjman CAST Philippe Lachau, Élodie Fontan, Julien Arruti, Tarek Boudali, Nathalie Baye, Didier Bourdon, Kad Merad (Monsieur Godet)
COMME DES ROIS, a.k.a. KINGS FOR A DAY (2017) DIR Xabi Molia PROD Christie Molia, Marielle Duigou SCR Xabi Molia, Frédéric Chansel CAM Martin De Chabaneix ED Thomas Marchand MUS Lullatone CAST Kad Merad (Joseph), Kacey Mottet Klein, Sylvie Testud, Lucie Bourdeu, Tiphiane Daviot, Jenny Bellay, Marc Bodnar
LA MÉLODIE, a.k.a. LA MELODIE (2017) DIR Rachid Hami PROD Nicolas Mauvernay SCR Rachid Hami, Guy Laurent, Valérie Zenatti (original idea from Guy Laurent) CAM Jérôme Alméras ED Joëlle Hache MUS Bruno Coulais CAST Kad Merad (Simon Daoud), Samir Guesmi, Renely Alfred, Jean-Luc Vincent, Tatiana Rojo, Slimane Dazi, Mathieu Spinosi
LA CH’TITE FAMILLE, a.k.a. FAMILY IS FAMILY (2018) DIR – PROD Dany Boon SCR Dany Boon, Sarah Kaminsky (original story by Dany Boon) CAM Denis Rouden ED Elodie Codaccioni CAST Dany Boon, Line Renaud, Laurence Arné, Valérie Benneton, Guy Lecluyse, François Berléand, Pierre Richard, Juliane Lepoureau, Kad Merad (Kad Merad)
LE DOUDOU, a.k.a. LOOKING FOR TEDDY (2018) DIR Julien Hervé, Philippe Mechelen PROD Richard Grandpierre SCR Julien Hervé, Philippe Mechelen, Nessim Chikhaoul CAM Stéphane Le Parc MUS Hervé Rakotofiringa CAST Kad Merad (Michel Barré), Malik Bentalha, Romain Lancry, David Salles, Guy Marchand, Isabelle Sadoyan, Lou Chavain, Enya Baroux
BRILLANTISSIME (2018) DIR Michèle Laroque PROD Lionel Dutemple, Bernjamin Morgaine, Romain Rousseau, Maxime Delauney SCR Michèle Laroque, Lionel Dutemple, Benjamin Morgaine (adaptation by Michèle Laroque, Lionel Dutemple, Benjamin Morgaine; play “My Brilliant Divorce”  by Geraldine Aron) CAM Kika Ungaro ED Jeanne Kef, Reynald Bertrand CAST Michèle Laroque, Kad Merad (Doctor Steinman), Françoise Fabian, Gérard Darmon, Rossy De Palma, Pascal Albé, Oriane Deschamps
LE GENDRE DE MA VIE (2018) DIR François Desagnat PROD Jérôme Corcos, Jérôme Seydoux, Stephane Sperry, Antoine Pezet SCR François Desagnat, Thomas Ruat, Jérôme L’hotsky (adaptation by François Desagnat, Thomas Ruat; screenplay DAD FRIEND by Jeff Morris) CAM Vincent Gallot ED Beatrice Herminie MUS Fabien Cahen CAST Kad Merad (Stéphane), Pauline Étienne, Julie Gayet, François Déblock, Zabou Breitman, Guillaume Labbé, Chloé Jouannet
JUST A GIGOLO (2019) DIR Olivier Baroux PROD Richard Grandpierre, Dimitri Rassam SCR Kad Merad, Olivier Baroux (screenplay HOW TO BE A LATIN LOVER  by Jon Zack, Chris Spain) CAM Christian Abomnes ED Stephan Couturier MUS Martin Rappeneau CAST Kad Merad (Alex), Anne Charrier, Léopold Moati, Pascal Elbé, Thierry Lhermitte, Anny Duperey, Lionel Abelanski, Guy Lecluyse, Andréa Ferréol, Enya Baroux
UNE BELLE ÉQUIPE, a.k.a. QUEENS OF THE FIELD (2019) DIR Mohamed Hamidi PROD Jamel Debbouze, Nicolas Duval Adassovsky SCR Mohamed Hamidi, Alain-Michel Blanc, Camille Fontaine (adaptation by Mohamed Hamidi, Alain-Michel Blanc) CAM Laurent Dailland ED Marion Monnier MUS Ibrahim Maalouf CAST Kad Merad (Marco), Alban Ivanov, Céline Sallette, Sabrina Ouazini, Laure Calamy, Guillaume Gouix, Myra Auxire
UN TRIOMPHE, a.k.a. THE BIG HIT (2020) DIR Emmanuel Courcol PROD Marc Bordure, Robert Guédiguian SCR Emmanuel Courcol (adaptation by Emmanuel Courcol, Thierry de Carbonnières) CAM Yann Maritaud ED Guerric Catala MUS Fred Avril CAST Kad Merad (Étienne), David Ayala, Lamine Cissokho, Sofian Khammes, Pierre Lottin, Wabliné Nablé, Aleksandr Medvedev, Saïd Benchmafa, Marina Hands, Laurent Stocker
L’ANNÉE DU REQUIN (2021) DIR – SCR Ludovic Boukerma, Zoran Boukherma PROD Pierre-Louis Garnon, Frédéric Jouve CAM David Cailley MUS Amaury Chabauty CAST Kad Merad, Marina Foïs, Christine Gautier, Jean-Pascal Zadi
BULLIT & RIPER (2020) DIR Kad Merad, Olivier Baroux PROD Bruno Delport TELEPLAY Kad Merad, Olivier Baroux, Julien Rappeneau ED Jon Goc MUS Hervé Rakotofiringa CAST (voice only) Kad Merad (Richard Bullit), Philippe Magnan, Anne Charrier, Enya Baroux, Laurence Arné, Martin Darondeau